Moxie Interactive Chief Executive Kris Zagoria is stepping down from the agency she co-founded nine years ago. Joel Lunenfeld, chief innovation officer and a founding partner, assumes the role of CEO effective yesterday.
Her departure is the biggest change at the 300-person agency since it was acquired three years ago by Publicis Groupe's Zenith Media. When asked if that deal required her to stay at the agency for a specified time after the purchase, she said it did not.
"I actually thought I would have stayed on forever. To be honest, I just started feeling the itch to do something different," Zagoria said in an interview with ClickZ. She didn't disclose her next move. "I don't have a plan," she said.
Lunenfeld joined the agency more than seven years ago to build an online media department, and his role expanded over time. "As I was putting together a media strategy for a company, it's hard to have [a strategy] without talking about creative and technology," he said, explaining how he moved to the position of chief innovation officer.
Asked about the impact of the recession on Moxie, Lunenfeld said, "We've been able to buck the trend." The agency has seen opportunities to grow in offering social media services such as helping brands seed video and other work.
"We've been scrappier," Zagoria said, adding, "We might cut some paid media and go with grassroots unpaid media. We're getting the same results [for clients]."
Lunenfeld, originally from Brooklyn, NY, began his marketing career at the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey franchise while earning a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. According to his LinkedIn profile, Lunenfeld was previously media manager at 360i and Xceed.
Moxie's clients have included Verizon, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Garnier, Maybelline New York, 20th Century Fox, and Home Depot.
Lunenfeld, asked to relate an anecdote about Zagoria, recalled advice she gave before meeting a client. "Kris, with her southern sway, said, 'Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Show the work, show enough value and they will want more.'"
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Anna Maria Virzi, ClickZ's executive editor from 2007 until 2012, covered Internet business and technology since 1996. She was on the launch team for Ziff Davis Media's Baseline and also worked at Forbes.com, Web Week, Internet World, and the Connecticut Post.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT